The Phoenix Fire Office, Lombard Street and Charing Cross, London, with a List of the Directors. J. Farror, Birmingham Agent.
The engraving by Francis Eginton graphically represents this London business. A local figure, Joseph Farror is described as agent for the Birmingham Department. Unlike the static view of the Westminster Life and British Fire Insurance Offices in London, Eginton presents a fire-fighting scene. On the right several men are working the hand pump of a fire engine. To the left, jets of water leap into the inferno of a burning building while three people escape the conflagration. In the foreground a goddess holds a shield emblazoned with an image of the phoenix, a mythical Arabian bird, worshipped in ancient Egypt, which burned itself every 500 years and then rose reborn from the ashes. This icon of the Phoenix Fire Office is echoed by the column in the background, which was built after the Great Fire in 1666 and symbolised London’s rejuvenation from the flames. It was topped by an image of the risen phoenix.« Previous in this sectionNext in this section »